If Conservatives are so right, why are they so thoroughly losing the culture war? For the same reason that the British got trounced when they showed up to the French and Indian war marching in brightly colored formations through the woods: poor choice of tactics.

Scott Adams gets it.

The cause is threefold.

First, as education has gone down the tubes, so has the ability for anything close to logical reasoning. Someone not taught how to work through and pick apart the logic and the flaws in an argument tends to react only on the emotional. They do not know how to derive truth through rigorous logical analysis, and so what’s true must be whatever feels true.

Second, it is extremely difficult to convey a logical argument through images, but the newer generations have been raised in a world of images since the advent of the digital age. Throughout the days of their lives, they are not even exposed to logical argumentation any more.

Third, if the enemy could win the culture war with facts and logic, they would use them. But facts and logic are typically on our side. So the enemy instead focuses on the emotional response. Every cause is turned into the emotional equivalent of war. Every speech is a fact free emotional roller coaster of rhetoric alone. Alinsky tactics really nail this down.

So What?

Let’s take an issue near and dear to most of our hearts: 2nd Amendment rights in America. The left loves to use every news opportunity to beat the drum of gun control, and conservatives stand by with a battery’s worth of howitzers full of factual disproof of every gun control claim. And still they lose ground. Why?

The best example I saw was the highlight of a gun control article which did not make a single factual claim, and instead focused on tugging heartstrings to maximum effect. The typical conservative response would be a barrage of true facts, which would be (and typically are) unpersuasive to the leftist mind. The better response would be to respond in a likewise emotional manner.

“Look at Jane Smith, who was assaulted by a rapist one night. Police arrived five minutes after everything was over, and the criminal got away. But since she got a firearm and the training to use it, she feels so much more confident and safe. She has also made many good friends at the local gun range, and even met a great guy who she hopes is interested in her.”

It’s a fact free response, but emotionally powerful in a way that will more effectively impact those who operate only on an emotional level.

The difference between the enemy and this is that truth is on our side. Respond to emotional arguments with more convincing emotional arguments, but make sure your arguments are backed up by truth and logic and facts.

Otherwise, if a leftist launches an emotional assault on our principles, responding with a list of facts is akin to the British Redcoats using a tried and proven tactic for their method of warfare which completely ignored the battlefield-in-fact. Even though their strategy had a proven success in times past, it was not suited for victory on a new field of engagement.